The noise of dozens of students from the high school, junior high, and elementary schools filled the auditorium as dozens of monkeys filled the stage with the sound of enthusiastic howls. Rehearsal for Tarzan, this year’s musical, had started.
The months of February and March are crunch time for the musical. There are practices almost everyday until the first show in March. This year’s musical schedule is rigorous for the actors, with seven performances in total on March 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, and 14.
To many of the actors, the musical is more than just a show.
“I get the chance to experience having a lead role and get out of the shell I didn’t know that I had,” Allison Thomas said, the junior who plays Jane.
Thomas is also dedicated to making relationships with the rest of the cast.
“I try to have at least one bonding moment with everyone on the cast,” Thomas said. “I like to think of the musical cast as a mini family.”
Grace Nale, a senior, has been a part of this family for four years. For this production, she is a member of the ensemble. She has been proud to be part of the cast every year.
“It has become a staple of my life,” Nale said. “The musical is going to be pretty amazing. It will be something that the school and the whole county can enjoy.”
The cast has also found that the musical is a great way to create lasting friendships.
“I make so many new friends during the musical,” Nale said.
The bonding in the musical goes beyond age and grade.
“My favorite part of the musical is working with the kids,” Jackie Golden, a sophomore who plays an ape in the musical, said. “When I was in third grade, I was in the musical. The high school students were good to me, so I want to do the same for the kids now.”
Owen Smith, a fourth grader who works with Golden as a monkey, is excited that he gets to be in Tarzan.
“They don’t usually have kids in the musical,” Smith said. “This is a great opportunity.”
Smith’s favorite part of being in the musical, beside his relationships with the high school students, is his role as a little monkey.
“I like making monkey noises and acting like one too,” Smith said.